SuperGP: Can Seller wrap it
up in the Free State?
The penultimate round of the 2017 DEOD SuperGP Champions Trophy takes place at Phakisa Freeway, just outside Welkom, on Saturday, 26 August. SuperGP championship leader Clint Seller has an outstanding record at the Free State circuit – he has won every superbike race he has started there since 2013 – and will be out to continue that performance on his MiWay Yamaha Racing R1.
Seller has only finished off the podium once in 2017 which has given him a 47-point lead at the top of the SuperGP championship standings. Should he continue his winning run at Phakisa, will leave as the 2017 champion. Greg Gildenhuys (Autohaus Towing / Transport.co.za Kawasaki ZX10R) is the only rider with a mathematical chance of preventing Seller from claiming another title, but needs Seller to suffer major misfortune for that to happen.
The battle for third in the 2017 championship is a four-way fight between 2016 runner up Michael White (Consortium Shipping Yamaha R1), AJ Venter (Lekka Racing Team Hygenica Yamaha R1) and the BMW S1000RR mounted pair of David McFadden (Sandton Auto BMW Motorrad) and Lance Isaacs (Supabets / Sandton BMW Motorrad). The four of them are separated by just 13 points, and with 100 points on offer at the final two rounds, they will be fighting for every one they can get.
Seller has raced without a team mate in the premier category for a while but at Phakisa he will have reigning Super600 champion Adolf Boshoff in the field. Boshoff has missed most of the season after an accident in East London, but he has recovered from his injuries and will be making his debut aboard a second MiWay Yamaha Racing R1.
While there is a clear favorite in the SuperGP title race, things are not as clear cut in the SuperMasters category. Two second places last time out at Dezzi Raceway moved Johnny Krieger (Lekka Racing Team Hygenica Yamaha R1) to the top of the log, just eight points clear of Heinrich Rheeder (BMW Motorrad Rheeder Racing S1000RR) with Beau Levey (Motos Blu Cru Yamaha R1) in third a further 16 points back. The 2017 champion is almost certainly going to come from this trio.
Hayden Jonas (MiWay Yamaha Racing R6) led the Super600 championship for most of the season but a crash during qualifying at the last round left him as a spectator for the rest of the weekend. This has allowed Steven Odendaal (Petra Yamaha R6) to move to the top of the championship standings. The former champion has a 23-point advantage over Blaze Baker (Uncle Andy Racing Suzuki GSXR600) with Jonas now in third place, 17 points behind Baker. Aiden Liebenberg (Fercor Construction / Shop #74 Kawasaki ZX6), Malcolm Rudman (Montclair Motorcycles Kawasaki ZX6) and Jesse Boshoff (Phoenix Payroll Systems Kawasaki ZX6) complete the top six but are just too far back to be considered serious championship challengers this year although all of them are capable of podium finishes at Phakisa.
Tyreece Robert (KTM390) took an impressive win in the opening SuperJunior race at Dezzi Raceway, but a mechanical problem on the warm-up lap before the second race meant he scored no points there. This has left him in third place in the championship chase, 20 points behind Ricardo Otto (Otto Racing / Inex Construction KTM390) who is in turn 16 points behind Taric van der Merwe (Evolve Nutrition KTM390) who heads the log. The trio have a comfortable lead over the rest of the pack and the 2017 champion is certain to come from among their ranks.
In addition to the national championship categories, there will be a full program of regional and club classes, including the BOTTS and 250 Cup. As usual, practice and qualifying take place on Friday with a full day of racing on Saturday.
Story: GAS Sports
Pics: Paul Bedford